In light of the June 24, 2022, Supreme Court decision to overrule the landmark, Roe. v Wade case, — ending the constitutional right to abortion in the country — studies revealed increased interest in male contraceptives.
The National Institutes of Health [NIH] first initiated male contraception development in the U.S. during the early ‘70s — nearly 50 years after the first modern female contraceptive studies. But with only two formally approved methods of male birth control — condoms and vasectomies — available in the market, cis-gendered men are left with few options to pursue safe sex. With a market targeted largely to the female audience, contraceptive accountability lies almost exclusively with women.
In other words, in a relationship between cis-gendered, heterosexual partners, the lack of male birth control options forces women to assume most, if not, all responsibility for the physical and financial burdens of family planning, while limiting men’s reproductive autonomy and raising the risks of unintended pregnancies.
Based on a poll conducted by SingleCare, approximately 72% of sexually active men and 74% of sexually active women believe that both partners should be equally responsible for birth control.
In a post-Roe era where the lack of women’s reproductive rights remains a grim reality, by increasing federal funds for male reproductive studies and contraception development, the government can empower men and women, alike, to pursue healthier and safer sex options.
As an advocate of reproductive healthcare rights, I think it’s critical that we engage in proactive conversations while urging our government’s leaders to take a stance on one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.